Since I am starting to get back into the swing of things, I thought what better way than to get back into my groove by doing a giveaway!! If you haven't already head on over to Crafty Natalie on Facebook for your chance to win a personalized jewelry dish! You get to pick how you want it personalized! And if you don't feel like waiting to see if you're a winner, head on over to the shop to order one!
I've had my Instagram account for over three years now and have always kept it private since they are mostly personal pictures. Recently I've been getting more and more requests from people to follow me, so I decided to create a second account specifically for the "business" side of Crafty Natalie! This account will be open for everyone to follow and will feature projects that I'm working on, items that are currently listed in my Etsy Shop, and of course other fun stuff! I figured a second account would make it easier for those who enjoy following the crafty side! So if you'd like to be kept in the loop on items I've been working on you can find me here (it's the same user name as my Etsy shop- craftynataliedc)
Back in the late 90s one of the first jobs I worked at was in the infant room at a childcare center. (Little did I know that that job ended up shaping what I would do after I graduated college and thus resulted in over ten years of working in early childhood, as a preschool teacher and also as a director of a school!) I remembered one of the baby's always wore these tiny little bibs that were just the perfect little drool catchers! They essentially looked like little collars, so they were definitely more for drooling babies rather than for meal purposes. I had never seen these little bibs other than that one baby, and even when we had our first child, I don't ever recall ever seeing these in stores- nor did I even remember about them! So it was funny that just recently while we were planning on the arrival of our second I kept seeing these bandana bibs all over and it brought me back to being 18 working in the infant room! They are larger than the collar bibs I remember little Lucy wearing, but essentially the same idea, of a trendy little drool catcher! P just turned four months and has been a drool machine for the last two months! I decided to whip up a few of these new bandana bibs that I keep seeing rather than changing his outfits multiple times a day because they are so soaked through! My three year old calls them bandit bibs! Gotta love Sheriff Callie and those train bandits! I think I almost like these better than regular bibs for dribbling babies because they curve slightly inward, so instead of just flapping around, they are more fitted. Why would that be a plus? Well, if you have a crazy active baby who likes to lay on the floor and flail around, then you don't have to worry about the bottom of the bib flipping up and covering his face and him laying there like a turtle on his shell unhappy that his face is covered and you don't have to run over ever two seconds to flip the bib back off his face!
I've got a few whipped up already with more to come in my shop soon!
We probably haven't made it to the beach in over three years! I am DETERMINED to go at least once this year! I had been wanting to make my son a sand pail so I figured if I make it we have to go, right?!
Since we were still waiting for our FIOS installation when I decided to make these a few weeks back, I ended up having to use a pre-bought image that I had in my Silhouette library rather than creating something of my own for the kids. My oldest has really been into whales and sharks, and since I previously made him a shark cup I decided to go with whales this time around! It ended up working out great because I had several whale images that I had purchased and one was more "baby" than the other so I was able to make both the boys buckets! (Yes, I know, our almost 4 month old, doesn't necessarily need a bucket, but why not right?) I also ended up personalizing the shovels with a cute anchor monogram as well!
After moving into the new house I realized there were a few new things that I wanted for myself (funny how once you have kids buying stuff for yourself becomes such an afterthought!) I had been eyeing some makeup holders for the bathroom but since my make-up routine is pretty simple, I didn't need anything huge. Ones I was finding online were upwards of over $30, call me cheap but that's pretty expensive for plastic right?! I love the wooden organizers but they are HUGE and I definitely don't want that cluttering up my counter! I lucked out when Pick Your Plum had some acrylic makeup holders on deal one day. These were the perfect size and stackable (I had wanted one with some drawers but also some dividers). They didn't take long to ship so I was excited to get them about a week after I ordered! I decided to pretty up the organizer by adding my monogram to it. I don't normally go for the scripty kinds of monograms but figured with vinyl it would be easy to swap out if I got sick of looking at it!
It's funny how in your 20s your makeup routine takes so much longer than when you're in your 30s! (Well, at least for me!) I don't use as much now but love trying out new products (I'm a sucker for moisturizers and exfoliators!) So when I received a subscription to Birchbox more than three years ago, I got even more hooked on beauty products! Such a fun way to try out new products for only $10 a month! I've been introduced to so many cool, higher end products that I probably never would have tried before! And the best part about Birchbox is their points system that you can cash in towards products! This makes purchasing that $70 face cream easier to swallow for this stay at home mom! This makeup organizer is great because it's not too big so it allows me the chance to put out all my fun beauty finds without cluttering up my bathroom counter! It holds all my essentials- a few makeup brushes, primer, moisturizer, eye makeup, BB cream and lip gloss!
We have been in the new house for almost a month now and we FINALLY just got FIOS set up- agh, the joys of moving into a new development! It was a LONG three weeks without internet or television that is for sure! It was nice being unplugged but it's amazing how much we've come to rely on being connected for everyday things! This was apparent when I went to pay some bills and realized that I would have to send it out and we didn't have enough stamps! But it was so nice to be disconnected and not be distracted with unnecessary things like Pinterest and Facebook! (Ugh, I have to say the break from social media was pretty nice in the sense that there are just way too many people that all they do is complain complain complain, and geesh, misery sure loves company! It was also nice to not have a bazillion people sharing articles on Facebook that in my opinion aren't really helpful...anyone else notice that parenting articles these days are really depressing. People just can't seem to do what they want to do, it's a constant competition between moms to one-up each other, or it's an overabundance of people creating unnecessary fears with parenting, or really it's a whole lot of busy bodies thinking they know how to parent better than you can. What ever happened to parents being able to parent the way they want, when did it become that you had to follow some book or guideline?! If it works for your family why can't doing what you do be enough?!)
I have officially opened my shop back up and hope to start with custom orders in August or September! My studio isn't quite where I want it to be just yet (we are for the most part unpacked but there are still a few things that need organizing, and it doesn't help that I've attempted to start a few projects before being completely organized, so of course my work area is in disarray!) I have a TON of new items that need to get listed in the shop as well as a whole list of new items to get started on!! Lots of fun stuff to look forward to!
A few weeks ago I grabbed lunch with an old friend. We went to California Pizza Kitchen and I remembered how much I loved their Thai Chicken Pizza! We actually used to make a homemade version all the time and some how that dropped off our dinner rotation! (Yes, I plan dinners for the week! Some people might think this is a bit OCD, but it actually helps me stay organized and also not to spend way more than I need to at the grocery store every week! It also definitely helps cut out that 5pm slump where I'm standing in the kitchen going back and forth wondering what to make for dinner!)
Our three year old loves pizza and after realizing how long it had actually been since we'd made this kind, I decided to put this on the menu the other week! I know some of you are probably thinking, a three year old eating hoisin sauce and bean sprouts? YES, he has a pretty sophisticated palate (thank goodness, no pickiness here!) He actually loves spicy food too! He's had his fair share of Thai curry, fights with me over the pickled ginger when we eat sushi, and the more hoisin sauce he can put in his pho, the better!
This pizza is super easy to make, and you can easily use a store bought dough and leftover chicken! This pizza would be great grilled too!
Thai Chicken Pizza
- 2 chicken breasts
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp sweet chili sauce
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1-2 tbsp water
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 green onion, chopped
- crushed peanuts (optional)
- crushed red pepper (optional)
- If you are using raw pizza dough, prepare as instructed on the package. If you are using a pre-made dough (naan bread is also a great base to make pizza with too! We use those a lot, especially when we want to make several different varieties) preheat the oven to 450 degrees
- Prepare the chicken breast. Simply salt and pepper the chicken, and grill or saute on the stove. Cut into small cubes or slices. (We had grilled Hawaiian chicken the night before, which was marinated in a mixture of ginger, brown sugar and soy sauce. It actually brought out tons of flavor in the pizza, but a simple grilled chicken will work just fine!)
- In a small sauce pan, drizzle some olive oil into the pan and saute the ginger and garlic. Add in the peanut butter, hoisin sauce, and sweet chili sauce and stir. Mix in some water to the desired consistency of the sauce you'd like (I find that 2 tbsp should be plenty). You don't really want the sauce to be runny.
- Spread the sauce on the dough and layer with chicken, mozzarella cheese, bean sprouts, cilantro, green onions, and really whatever other veggies you'd like! (It's also great with sliced carrots, but we ran out!)
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Top with crushed peanuts or for added spice add crushed red pepper! Enjoy!
Today is the last day of school for the kids in our county! I know Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21, but with the kids already starting to run around, fireworks going off on random nights, and the occasional spotting of the ice cream truck, it's safe to say summer is here!
I made myself a new cup (surprise surprise!) but decided to make one with a cute saying on it rather than an image. My husband always jokes that I am a Southerner. Yes, I know I'm from Virginia (born and raised in the DC area, and probably one of the few Asians you'll ever meet that actually says ya'll every now and then! ) but, if you have ever been to Northern Virginia you will find that it is quite different from the rest of the state! (I have to laugh every time I see this, or a similar post floating around on Facebook! It's all spot on! ha!) But anyways, I digress! Back to one of my "Southern" traits! I love sweet tea! So of course it was only fitting that I made myself a summer cup for it!
We'll be moving in TWO WEEKS! What am I looking most forward to this summer, besides getting settled into the new house? Sitting on our brand new porch, watching the kiddies play, and drinking my sweet tea (and maybe even adding a bit of Firefly into it!)
Since the majority of my sewing machines and supplies have been packed up, I've been spending a lot of time with vinyl. My favorite thing to vinyl are reusable cups! When I was pregnant, drinking water was probably one of my least favorite things to do, but HAD to do. I was one of those lucky pregnant women who didn't really get to enjoy food- everything left an awful taste in my mouth, especially if I had too many carbs or sweets. This probably helped me keep my weight down that's for sure! Water wasn't easy- no amount of fresh lemon or lime helped! It was a huge victory every time I could chug a glass of water down!
I had found this large 24 oz double wall tumbler on sale and decided it was perfect for guzzling down the 60oz a day! I ended up decorating the cup with a cute owl to kind of offset all the pink and purple! (The owl came from the Silhouette store and is a Miss Kate Cuttables design- I love her stuff!!)
One of the other cups that I worked on was for my husband's birthday, which was back in May. He had been wanting one of those fruit infusion cups too. I decided to decorate his with his favorite hockey team's logo on it as part of his gift.
And lastly, I couldn't leave our 3 year old out! Every time he saw my husband or I with our cups, he'd ask for one too! I found these blank kids mason jar tumblers at Target and decided to personalize one for him for Easter! (I wish I had stocked up on more of the kids cups because not only are they colored, which are hard to find, they are completely smooth all the way around, so there is plenty of space to vinyl! I have found that many mason jar tumblers are limited in that there is always one side that has some kind of raised design on them!) Since he loves sharks I found an image that I was able to duplicate and make for himself! (Can I tell you how hard it is to find a shark that isn't so scary looking!)
Last summer I participated in a buy for some floating lockets. These have become quite a trend, but I know not a lot of people want to spend the money that comes with the more popular brand. (Myself being one of those people! As a stay at home mom, I rarely spend money on novelty jewelry so this was definitely a much more affordable option for me!) After buying several with the group and having people compare it to the "name brand" the consensus was that they couldn't tell the difference! I decided to continue buying a few just to have on hand for those who wish to purchase accessories through me! These are great because the charms can be switched out easily so you aren't limited to only wearing them with certain outfits!
And here are a few examples of some orders:
After I had my second son, I decided to finally make myself a locket too!